John Kelly backtracks after saying that he runs the country

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Kelly appeared confident, energized, and fully engaged with the task of executing President Trump's agend-no, kidding, he looked like a man wishing he could plummet through a trap door hidden beneath his feet and reemerge somewhere in the world where, by the grace of God, he would never have to hear the word "tweet" again.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends a news conference in which he spoke on relief aid in Puerto Rico, Trump's nuclear policy and North Korea, among other issues.

Kelly blamed the media for misleading stories about discord at the White House, albeit in more polite language than the president customarily uses. One showed him staring at the floor at a press conference in NY as Trump rambled about "both sides" being to blame for violence at a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. "He takes information in from every avenue he can receive it".

Kelly, a retired Marine general and the former secretary of Homeland Security, was appointed to the position of White House Chief of Staff in July after Reince Priebus resigned.

"I restrict no one, by the way, to go in to see him", he said.

But Kelly delivered a relaxed and upbeat performance that helped tamp down reports of tension between the president and the four-star general, described by colleagues as someone serving the president out of a steely sense of patriotic duty. "I was not brought to this job to control anything except teh flow of information to our president, so he can make the best decisions". He said in this job he had to "get to know the lay of the land". "I would tell you this: Despite what someone reported about President Trump - and he wouldn't mind me sharing this with you - he's said this many many times", Kelly told reporters. (Laughter.) I don't believe - and I just talked to the President - I don't think I'm being fired today.

"There are incredible challenges, economic challenges, health care challenges", he said, telling reporters that one of his biggest frustrations was "you, all of you".

Kelly said it's the hardest job he's ever had, in addition to the most important job he's ever had. "But I offer to you the advice that, maybe, develop better sources".

"This is really, really hard work, running the United States of America", Kelly said, quickly adding, "I don't run it".

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